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Millisecond measurement of transport during and after an electroporation pulse.
Prausnitz MR; Corbett JD; Gimm JA; Golan DE; Langer R; Weaver JC
Biophys J (A5S), 1995 May; 68 (5): 1864-70

Electroporation involves the application of an electric field pulse that creates transient aqueous pathways in lipid bilayer membranes. Transport through these pathways can occur by different mechanisms during and after a pulse. To determine the time scale of transport and the mechanism(s) by which it occurs, efflux of a fluorescent molecule, calcein, across erythrocyte ghost membranes was measured with a fluorescence microscope photometer with millisecond time resolution during and after electroporation pulses several milliseconds in duration. One of four outcomes was typically observed. Ghosts were: (1) partially emptied of calcein, involving efflux primarily after the pulse; (2) completely emptied of calcein, involving efflux primarily after the pulse; (3) completely emptied of calcein, involving efflux both during and after the pulse; or (4) completely emptied of calcein, involving efflux primarily during the pulse. Partial emptying, involving significant efflux during the pulse, was generally not observed. We conclude that under some conditions transport caused by electroporation occurs predominantly by electrophoresis and/or electroosmosis during a pulse, although under other conditions transport occurs in part or almost completely by diffusion within milliseconds to seconds after a pulse.